This April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. In recognition of this campaign, a representative of AAA Tennessee shares safety tips and advice about distracted driving. These tips may be helpful for drivers seeking the advice or advocacy of a personal injury attorney in Knoxville.
Even though the injured driver may have been driving responsibly and may not be at fault, knowing what is considered distracted driving can be helpful in preparing a case. It may also help plaintiffs remember seemingly unimportant details from car accidents that could be of value in court. While some forms of distracted driving, like texting, are illegal in many states, not all of them are. Yet they can all lead to auto accidents.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, distractions were the cause of over 3,000 deaths and 387,000 injuries in vehicle crashes in 2011. Not all distractions are illegal. In fact, some of them are even standard amenities on vehicles. A car’s cup holder can be handy for stashing your mocha latte. Yet enjoying that beverage means driving with one hand, and when a vehicle stops short or turns roughly, spills can happen. Car mirrors, climate controls and rear view mirror adjustments can also be distractions.
Driving for long periods of time can be monotonous, so cars helpfully provide stereos. But adjusting the radio dial, switching your playslist or plugging in your iPod can all be distractions. Even GPS devices or wireless devices can be distracting. As for the mascara, hairstyling and other personal grooming routines — a car is not a bathroom, and these tasks should be completed at home. And if unruly children need a time-out, so does the car’s engine. According to AAA of Tennessee’s spokesperson, even talking to fellow drivers, including with hands-free devices, can be potentially distracting.
These “rules of distraction” continue to apply while we are stopped in traffic, or at lights. Any time we are behind the wheel, whether stationary or moving, we are officially driving. When injured in an accident, the details may sometimes be hard to recall, yet they can be important in determining fault and showing that distractions may have played a role. People may mistakenly believe that only illegal forms of accepted driving are relevant in a Knoxville court, but this may not always be the case.
Source: ABC WATE, “AAA recognizes distracted driving awareness month with safety tips” Drew Gardner, Apr. 01, 2014